Christchurch shooting: Bangladesh cricket team had a close call

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The mosque is near the cricket ground where Bangladesh was scheduled to play the third and final Test against New Zealand on Saturday. It is now cancelled.

Bangladesh’s cricket team escaped from a deadly shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, an official told AFP on Friday.

Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman Jalal Yunus said most of the team were in the bus and about to go inside when the incident happened.

“They are safe. But they are mentally shocked. We have asked the team to stay confined in the hotel,” he told AFP.

Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal wrote on Twitter: “Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers.”

Local media said multiple people were killed in the incident.

“Alhamdulillah Allah save us today while shooting in Christchurch in the mosque,” tweeted another player, Mushfiqur Rahim. “We r extremely lucky…never want to see this things happen again….pray for us.”

Shrinivas Chandrasekaran, the team’s high performance analyst, posted: “Just escaped active shooters!!! Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere!!”

Mazhar Uddin, a reporter for Bangladesh’s Daily Star  who is travelling with the team, said they were told a shooting was going on when they arrived at Christchurch’s Masjid Al Noor.

“The distraught Bangladesh players got inside a bus and laid down on the floor after the warning,” he reported.

The mosque is near the cricket ground where the Bangladesh team was scheduled to play the third and final Test against New Zealand on Saturday.

Test cancelled

NZC (New Zealand Cricket) said they had chosen to cancel the third Test, which was scheduled to start at Hagley Oval on Saturday, after discussions with the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

“I spoke to my counterpart in Bangladesh and we agree its inappropriate to play cricket at this time,” NZC Chief Executive David White told TVNZ. “It’s quite unbelievable really. We are shocked.”

Mr. White said he had spoken to the liaison officer with the Bangladesh team and the players were “shocked”.

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